Jackson longs to be ‘a Penny Hardaway type’ for Memphis

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source: Getty ImagesJoe Jackson’s not bailing on his hometown team. Even if it would be easier on him. But he’s sticking with Memphis and is determined to make it work.

The 6-foot point guard put any rumors of transferring to rest when he told the Memphis Commercial-Appeal that he hadn’t considered transferring, he “just had some personal issues off the court.” He’s frustrates and wants to do more – his summer with Team USA showed as much – but for some reason it’s not clicking yet.

What makes it all hard on Jackson is added pressure coming from people who’ve seen him thrive for years. He opened up to Jeff Goodman about that very issue:

“It’s hard,” Jackson said. “Everybody has an opinion around here and you can’t listen to everyone. It’s tough when you’re at home.”

Jackson met with Memphis coach Josh Pastner on Friday and was told to take a couple of days to contemplate whether he wanted to remain with the program and on the team.

“I love this city,” he said. “This was always a dream of mine to play for Memphis, be a Penny Hardaway type of guy. I want to be that person.”

Those expectations aren’t sky-high or anything. Pennys don’t come along often. He was a giant among Memphis players and a gifted player. Though Jackson’s got skills.

Jackson was a natural among the class of 2010 point guards. Kyrie Irving and Brandon Knight? Neither had anything on Jackson. It’s not even his production – 11.9 points, 3.1 assists per game – that’s an issue, but how he’s doing it. His scoring efficiency is slightly up, but his assist-to-turnover ratio is still 1-1.

Jackson expects more out of himself. When that happens, he knows wins will follow. And that’s all he really cares about.

“My frustration isn’t about me coming off the bench or my personal game,” Jackson told Goodman. “I feel like I haven’t done anything to help the team get to the next level.”

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Syracuse receives mixed news on sanctions appeals

Jim Boeheim
Associated Press
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Wednesday the NCAA made its ruling on two appeals of sanctions made by Syracuse University, with the news being mixed for the men’s basketball program.

On the positive side the NCAA ruled that Syracuse will be docked two scholarships per season for the next four years, as opposed to the original ruling of three. As a result Jim Boeheim’s program only has to account for the loss of eight total scholarships, meaning that they’ll have 11 to fill in each of the next four seasons as opposed to ten.

One scholarship may not seem like a big deal, but in a sport where you only get 13 (when not dealing with sanctions) getting that grant-in-aid back really helps from a recruiting standpoint.

As for the negatives, they both concern Boeheim. Not only has there yet to be a ruling on Boeheim’s appeal of his nine-game suspension that goes into effect when ACC play begins in January (that appeal is being heard separately), but the appeal to reinstate the wins that were vacated as part of the sanctions was denied. As a result Boeheim officially has 868 wins instead of 969 (not counting today’s game against Charlotte).

And with Mike Hopkins set to take over as head coach in 2018, the denial means that college basketball will have to wait quite some time before anyone threatens to join Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski in the 1,000 wins club.

While not having the wins officially reinstated does hurt, getting a scholarship back for each of the next four seasons is a bigger deal when it comes to the long-term health of the Syracuse program. Also of great importance will be the ruling regarding Boeheim’s suspension, as a suspended coach is not allowed to have any contact with his players or coaching staff while serving the penalty.

And with the original ruling due to take up half of Syracuse’s league slate, not having Boeheim (or the chance to speak with him) is a big deal when it comes to this current team.

St. John’s forward Kassoum Yakwe cleared by NCAA

Chris Mullin
AP Photo/Rick Bowmer
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St. John’s forward Kassoum Yakwe has been cleared by the NCAA to play this season and will be eligible immediately, the school announced on Wednesday.

Yakwe is a 6-foot-8 forward that reclassified and enrolled at St. John’s this fall. He attended the same high school as Kansas forward Cheick Diallo, who was also cleared by the NCAA to play today.

St. John’s played in the Maui Invitational this week, and Yakwe did not take part. His first game with the Johnnies will be on Dec. 2nd against Fordham if the program plans to play his this season.

The question that must be asked, however, is whether or not he will suit up or simply redshirt. The Johnnies are in the midst of a serious rebuild and will be without their other elite recruit this season, Marcus Lovett. Lovett was ruled a partial qualifier. Would it make sense to burn a year of eligibility on what make amount to a wasted season, or will head coach Chris Mullin opt to save that year for down the road?